Yogyakarta, Indonesia

yogyakarta

ABOUT YOGYAKARTA

Timezone : UTC+07:00

Currency: Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)

Visa: Not required for Malaysian

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GETTING THERE

Went to Yogyakarta by Air Asia. The flight will take you from KLIA2 to Adisucipto International Airport. From the airport you can take a taxi to your hotel. There will be a taxi counter near the exit door. Paid IDR 70,000 for a taxi from airport to hotel in Malioboro. When flying back from Yogyakarta to Malaysia, you will need to pay for the airport departure tax. Paid RM32 for the tax through AirAsia (payment for Indonesia Airport Tax), meaning I do not need to pay before the departure itself. By the way the airport is very small for the International flight so don’t be surprise πŸ˜›

ACCOMMODATION

Stayed at Whiz Hotel and this time booked a room through AirAsiaGo instead of the usual Agoda.com. Booked it through AirAsiaGo because I’m using a voucher code so manage to get a room at a cheaper price. Whiz Hotel is located in a very strategic area on Jalan Dagen, Malioboro, at the heart of the city’s tourism business district. It is surrounded by various shopping centers, eateries (a lot of Halal restaurants around) and other commercial sites. The breakfast served is Halal although the option is quite limited. (images below taken from their website)

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GETTING AROUND

Yogyakarta is not really a big city so traveling around town will not be too expensive. You can take a taxi (preferable metered taxi), by trishaw or also known as ‘becak’ (quite cheap. Around IDR 5,000 to IDR 20,000 depending on the distance), horse cart also known as ‘andong’ (around IDR 50,000 depending on distance), or you can just walk around.

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SHOPPING

  • Malioboro Street – This is the place where I did most (or maybe all) of my shopping. The stuff sold here are quite cheap (you can get IDR 15,000 for a t-shirt). Even though prices are already quite cheap, don’t forget to bargain for a better price!
  • Malioboro Mall – located in Jalan Malioboro
  • Ambarukkmo Plaza – this is the largest shopping complex in Yogyakarta. Went there by taxi. IDR 30,000 from Malioboro to the plaza

INTERESTING PLACES

  • Borobodur Temple – this is the biggest Buddhist temple in the 9th century. It is also declared as a UNESCO site. Notes to pregnant mommy, when I was there I was 4 months pregnant but still manage to climb up. The top is not really that high up but just make sure to be careful with the steps and take it slowly. Bring along water since it can be quite hot. Entrance fee was IDR 250,000 for foreign tourist (as at April 2015)

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  • Prambanan Temple – an ancient temple dedicated to the Trimurti Gods. Entrance fee was IDR 225,000 for foreign tourist (as at April 2015)

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  • Ratu Boko – an archeological site, 3km away from Prambanan Temple.
  • Malioboro – A famous street in the heart of the city. This is also a must-visit souvenir paradise.

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  • Mount Merapi – For adventure seeker. You can hire a jeep and choose a short, medium or long trail for sight-seeing

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  • Parangtritis Beach – Enjoy a romantic evening enjoying sunset while riding on a carriage or for the more adventurous, you can try the all terrain vehicle (ATV). If you have time, walk up to Tebing Gembirawati (Gembirawati Cliff) and you can see the whole area of Parangtritis Beach, southern sea, up to the horizon. There’s also a temple ruins at the east side of the cliff
  • Benteng Vredeburg – A fort built by the Dutch in 1765 during the colonial domination, which has been converted into a museum. Entrance fee required.

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  • Kraton – Entrance fee required.
  • Taman Sari – Entrance fee required.

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TOURS

Hired a ‘supir’ or driver from the hotel. Rate was IDR 500,000 for the supir + vehicle + petrol for 10 hours. Went to Borobodur Temple, Merapi Volcano, lunch and finally Prambanan Temple.

FOOD

Majority of people living in Yogyakarta are Muslim so there’s no problem finding Halal food. However, every night I went to this restaurant called ‘Mas Bowoo’ and ordered their nasi goreng (fried rice) and chicken. Quite delicious. This restaurant is located near to Whiz Hotel (Jalan Dagen). Also do try out BAKPIA (a local dessert that you should try when you are in Yogyakarta) an NASI GUDEG (a local delicacy in Yogyakarta).

Bakso Bakso Ayam penyet Nasi gudeg food mas bowoo

MORE READING ON YOGYAKARTA

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BANGKOK!!

bangkok-thailand

ABOUT BANGKOK, THAILAND

Timezone : UTC+07:00

Currency: Thai Baht (THB)

Visa: Not required for Malaysian

Plug adapter:

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GETTING THERE

Went to Bangkok by Air Asia. The flight will take you from LCCT Kuala Lumpur (starting 9 May 2014 will be from KLIA2) to Don Muang International Airport, or Suvarnabumi Airport if you are taking Malaysia Airlines.

From Don Muang Inernational Airport to Khao San Road (or anywhere within Bangkok), you can take a van or taxi. I took a taxi and bought the ticket at one of the counter inside the airport. Can’t really remember how much I paid for it.

When flying back from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur, there is no airport departure tax. However this time I didn’t fly back to Kuala Lumpur but instead I continue on with another adventure in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (Click on the link to read about Ho Chi Minh City)

ACCOMMODATION

Booked a room through Agoda.com as usual. This time, I wanted to experience different surroundings, so I stayed in 2 different hotels, in 2 different locations.

  • Rambuttri Village Inn & Plaza – Located ni Soi Rambuttri. Very close to Khao San Road and Banglamphu, which is a heaven for backpackers. Since it is not really on the street of Khao San, you can still get a good night sleep, without the noise that you might experience if you stay in the middle of Khao San Road. The hotel is quite nice and the most important thing is that they provide free wi-fi! Here you can enjoy the life as of a backpacker!

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  • Tune Hotels, Asoke – Located close to Asok BTS and Sukhumvit MRT station. Quite convenient to go to places within the city center just by taking the BTS or MRT. Here you can enjoy staying in the middle of the city of Bangkok!

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PS: I prefer staying at the backpackers area since I can still wander and enjoy the shops and massage center until late night (since I can just walk within the area and enjoy the nightlife)

GETTING AROUND

It’s quite easy to move around Bangkok. You can either take the skytrain a.k.a BTS, MRT, Taxi (make sure to ask the driver to turn on the meter), Tuk Tuk (make sure to confirm on the price before going in), Chao Phraya Express Boat or walking especially in Khao San area depending on the area you are at since some of the mode of transport, like BTS and express boat does not cover the whole Bangkok. Please take note of the last train or boat service.

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KHAO SAN ROAD

A place where backpackers around the world gather. Hotels around this area are quite cheap and same goes to foods and shopping. It is very close to Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun, and other ‘must visit’ places. By the way, do not forget to visit Khao San Night Market!

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SUKHUMVIT

It is located in the middle of Bangkok city center, where you can find all those big hotels and shopping malls.

TOURS

There are so many tours that you can choose from and there are a lot of tour agencies that you can go to. For me, I just went to the one quite close to where I’m staying – Mr. Thai Tour Agency near Rambuttri Village & Inn. Paid for 2 tours:

  • FLOATING MARKET (DAMNOEN SADUAK)

** tips: if you want to buy cheaper souvenir, walk towards the end to Paew Souvenir

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  • DINNER RIVER CRUISE

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INTERESTING PLACES

  • GRAND PALACE : Inside Grand Palace compound, there are also Temple of Emerald Budda (also known as Wat Phra Kaew), The Golden Stupa and Mini Angkor Wat. (Entrance fee 400 Baht)

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  • WAT PHO + THAI MASSAGE : Wat Pho, also known as the temple of reclining buddha. If you are visiting, don’t forget to try out their massage since there is also Wat Pho Thai Traditional Massage School, where they provide massage service (but you need to pay). (Entrance fee 50 Baht)

wat pho massage rate

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  • WAT ARUN : Also known as Temple of the Dawn. (Entrance fee 50 Baht)

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SHOPPING

You can shop like crazy in Bangkok!! From high end shopping mall to a simple night market, it’s just a matter of whether you have time to visit all! Also do not forget to visit Chatuchak market if you are in Bangkok on weekend! It is a must place to visit!

MARKET

  • KHAO SAN NIGHT MARKET
  • BANGLAMPHU MARKET
  • CHATUCHAK WEEKEND MARKET; Open only on Saturday & Sunday, 6 am – 6 pm. Take a BTS to Mo Chit and walk around 5 minutes. (Just follow the crowd if you don’t know the way. Most of them are going to chatuchak market). If you are feeling hungry, there’s plenty of places to eat including those selling Halal food πŸ˜‰

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  • ASIATIQUE; a combination of indoor & outdoor shops. To go here, take BTS to Saphan Taksin and jump on the free shuttle boat at the end of the pier.
  • CHINA TOWN
  • LITTLE INDIA
  • PAK KLONG TALAT/ FLOWER MARKET
  • SILOM NIGHT MARKET & PATPONG
  • SOI COWBOY NIGHT MARKET

SHOPPING MALL

  • MBK – must visit!

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  • SIAM DISCOVERY CENTER
  • SIAM CENTER
  • SIAM PARAGON
  • CENTRAL WORLD
  • GAYSORN
  • CENTRAL CHIDLOM
  • THE EMPORIUM
  • TERMINAL 21 – this mall is so cute!

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  • PLATINUM SHOPPING MALL; an indoor version of Chatuchak Market

* Most of the shopping malls are accessible via train. You can also walk from one mall to another (for some of the malls) if you don’t mind walking

FOOD

You can find food everywhereee!! But for Halal food, it is quite difficult. However here are some places that I went to:

  • Aishah Rosdi, Banglamphu Market, near the big roundabout & opposite 7-11. If you cannot find it, you may ask the information counter (that’s what I did). Just ask for ‘Halal food or Muslim food’ and they might be able to help you.

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  • Street food

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MORE READINGS ON BANGKOK:

Medan, Indonesia

medan

Went to Medan, Indonesia for a short holiday with beloved family.

ABOUT MEDAN

Timezone : UTC+07:00

Currency: Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)

Visa: Not required for Malaysian

Plug adapter:

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GETTING THERE

Went there by Air Asia. Manage to buy a reallyyyy cheap return ticket during promotion. Only RM110 for a return ticket!! Previously planes will land and depart form Polonia Airport but now they have changed to a new & bigger airport, Kualanamu International Airport. However this airport is a bit further from the city compared to previous airport. I didn’t know there’s an airport departure tax that need to be paid before leaving but lucky they accept RM!! So if you want to go to Medan, make sure you save 75,000 Rupiah for the airport departure tax and not spend all of your money for shopping! πŸ˜›

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ACCOMMODATION

Stayed at Grand Sakura Hotel. Booked a room from Agoda.com at a very reasonable price. Actually I have booked a deluxe room but they are nice enough to upgrade my stay to an executive room for FREE!! Thank you!! The room is quite big but too bad I didn’t get wifi inside my room, so I just sit on the floor outside my room πŸ˜› Breakfast is included. The food they served are all HALAL. There’s not much of a choice for breakfast but as long as there’s food, I don’t really mind. If breakfast is not included when you do the booking, it is OK. Just pay 35,000 rupiah and you can enjoy all the food. It’s really cheap!! Location of the hotel is ok but not good. You need to get a taxi or just ask from the counter for a driver to send you to wherever you want to go. Other hotels which was recommended would be Madani Hotel (because of the location i guess) and Garuda Plaza Hotel. Here are some photos but I got it from their website instead of taking it myself πŸ˜›

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GETTING AROUND

Paid ‘supir’ or driver to go places around Medan when we were there but he is a VERY lousy driver & it is NOT cheap to hire him! He was recommended by someone we knew, who is originally from there so that is why we still paid him for the rest of our stay there. I will not put up his contact here because I WILL NOT recommend him to anybody! The hotel we stayed in provided car rental + driver service. I guess other hotels also provide this service so you may ask the counter if you do not have any contact to drive you around town. You can see the rate for a car+petrol+driver provided by Grand Sakura Hotel (it’s around half of what we paid for!) in the picture below.

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SHOPPING

  • Pasar Ikan – ‘Pasar Ikan’ means fish market. However they DO NOT sell fish! πŸ˜› You can find lots of fabrics, souvenirs, clothing, hijab, telekung (for Muslim) & a lot of other things here. The only problem we encounter was there are sellers following us everywhere we go & try to sell us things that we do not need. It is really annoying & uncomfortable so we only spend quite a short time there

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  • Ramayana – A few level shopping mall with cheap stuff. Really cheap!
  • Medan Mall – This is an air-conditioned shopping mall but also connected with a market which sells fruits, vegetable, fabrics, clothings, etc. Went here several times (since we are not so sure where to go..plus the tour guide & driver that we had..hmmm). There’s also a place to eat halal food; KFC & Es Teler 77 (try the es nangka. love it!) There’s also a department store inside which is called Matahari (which means sun in English). Price are quite cheap especially those that was on sale. The colourful wedges below is only around RM15 after 75% discount!

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  • Pasar Petisah – A market that sells a lot of clothing, fabrics, shoes, etc.

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  • Sun Plaza – a modern & big shopping mall!

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  • Bakery – If you are in Medan, make sure to buy the layer cake. It’s damn delicious & cheap!!

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INTERESTING PLACES

Maimoon Palace

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Oldest Mosque in Medan

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You may also go to Lake Toba (do spend a night there) or Brastagi.

FOOD

Do try the Nasi Padang (I’ve tried Restoran Garuda). It’s awesome especially the SAMBAL! I ate a lot & I mean A LOTTT of sambal! πŸ˜›

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If you go to Es Teler 77, try the Es Nangka. I LOVE IT! It’s just ice with condense milk & jackfruit but it taste awesome!

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